US Soccer Team Guatemala Troops

US Soccer Team Guatemala Troops - The US national soccer team, nicknamed 'The Stars and Stripes,' weren't feeling very patriotic when players stepped off the plane and were greeted by American troops in Guatemala.

The players reportedly snubbed the soldiers who had lined up on Sunday to cheer for them as they arrived for a World Cup qualifying match -- completely ignoring them as they walked to a waiting bus.

Families of the military heroes and the team's fans reacted with fury claiming the soccer stars had disrespected their loved ones.

TMZ.com, which first reported on the diss, says the team is now apologizing to the soldiers stationed in Guatemala. They claim it was just a misunderstanding.

'The players and staff were simply unsure of the correct protocol in terms of engaging the military members on arrival to Guatemala... they weren't sure if they were welcoming them or providing security.'

A photo of the team leaving the plane shows about three-dozen soldiers taking pictures and cheering on the 20-yard walkway between the aircraft and the bus.

The soldiers were upset that the players didn't acknowledge the troops who had gathered at the airport or take even 'five minutes' to say thanks.

'What a disgrace that a team that wears our American colors can't take 5 minutes to acknowledge the soldiers that fight for what those colors represent,' one family member of a soldier fumed on Facebook, according to TMZ.

A spokesperson from the team said that the incident was 'truly just a misunderstanding' and that after the game at Estadio Mateo Flores, the players addressed the troops in the crowd with a round of applause to smooth things over.

'Some of these guys they have family in the military; their fathers served in the military,'
Neil Buethe, senior manager of communications for the U.S. Soccer Federation said to the MailOnline. 'To think that they would not engage military officers is just surprising.'

The Guatemalan team out-shot the Americans 13-11 and scored a goal on a penalty kick late in the game to scuttle their rival's hope for an easy victory.

The match ended with a 1-1 tie -- a coupe for the small central American who are ranked 85th and has never qualified for the World Cup.

Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days, says that the troops had every right to be upset about the snub.

'To be snubbed can send a message that they aren't supportive of their work and all that they do for the United States,' Mr Alpert said to the MailOnline. 'This is especially powerful off US soil as one would expect there to be a strong sense of kinship.'

He thinks the controversy may even take its toll on the team.

'By the team not supporting the soldiers, they may have lost some support of their own. This could impact their performance on the field as they might feel somewhat embroiled in a conflict that could have easily been avoided and this can take their focus off the game.'

However, Mr Alpert thinks that given the miscommunication, the whole incident could have been avoided if the servicemen gave the players the benefit of the doubt.

Many people are taking to Twitter to voice their disdain for the actions of the players.

'Another reason to hate soccer. The players snub troops,' said one user.

'@ussoccer team - a real group of losers. Snub troops and can't beat 85th-in-world Guatemala,' wrote another.

'Yet another reason for my complete and utter disdain for the U.S. soccer team. No class. Shameful,' wrote Brookline, Massachusetts, resident Jackie Condron.

'[It's] sad there is no respect shown to troops - even if they did think they were "security". Load of Crap.'

Many other soccer fans were outraged by the halfhearted apology the team issued.

'I'm disappointed in the lack of character shown for our servicemen by these players, and then that they couldn't even defeat a poorly ranked team only makes them look even more half-witted,' Kyle Peabody said to the MailOnline.

'Regardless of who was there lined up to see them they should have been more courteous and at least acknowledged them....and, win the damn game!'

Some of the rage might have been directed at the team because they are usually a courteous group that often supports the military.

On June 7, player Terrence Boyd uploaded a photograph to his Instagram of himself beside two servicemen, who he and a teammate paid a surprise visit to at MacDill Air Force Base.

'Honoring 2 soldiers for their services to our country,' the caption read.

And it seems some of the controversy may have been overblown, as it appears not all of the players brushed off the troops.

Nick Rimando also uploaded an image from the team's arrival at Guatemala that appears to show some of the players posing for quick snaps with the servicemen.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2159046/Anger-U-S-soccer-team-IGNORES-ranks-American-troops-lined-greet-arrived-game-Guatemala.html#ixzz1xsbLRWjC

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